Tamedia: new organisation of the newspaper editorial offices and growth initiatives

Tamedia is reorganising its newspaper editorial offices. In doing so, the Swiss media group is ensuring it can still provide its readers with superior, highly diverse reporting through all channels, despite significantly lower income. The goal is to ensure the economic and editorial independence of the twelve paid daily newspapers and both Sunday papers in German- and French-speaking Switzerland. Tamedia also wants to take advantage of growth opportunities in digital journalism. No layoffs are associated with the introduction of the new organisation. From 1 January 2018, all employees will continue to have a role in one of the editorial offices.   

Zurich, 23 August 2017 – As of 1 January 2018, two new Tamedia Editorial Offices in German- and French-speaking Switzerland will prepare national, international, economic and sport articles. Competence centres are planned for Bern, Lausanne and Zurich. The research desk will be managed by both editorial offices. The Tamedia Editorial Offices from both linguistic regions will be staffed by employees from all newspaper editorial offices and managed by two Editors-in-Chief. 


Arthur Rutishauser, Editor-in-Chief of the new Tamedia Editorial Office in German-speaking Switzerland


Arthur Rutishauser will be responsible for the management of the Tamedia Editorial Office in German-speaking Switzerland. He will also remain Editor-in-Chief of the SonntagsZeitung. “The Tamedia Editorial Office will be the strongest editorial office in Switzerland,” says Arthur Rutishauser. “I’m looking forward to working with current and future colleagues.”


Ariane Dayer, Editor-in-Chief of the new Tamedia Editorial Office in French-speaking Switzerland


Ariane Dayer will take over management of the Tamedia Editorial Office in French-speaking Switzerland. Ariane Dayer has been Editor-in-Chief of Le Matin Dimanche since 2010 and will continue in this position. Ariane Dayer: “The new Tamedia Editorial Office, based on three titles established in French-speaking Switzerland, offers the unique opportunity of comprehensive reporting on day-to-day news founded on research and analysis skills.”


New Editorial Services division under the leadership of Simon Bärtschi


All competencies in layout, text production, image editing, photography, proofreading and other supported processes in German-speaking Switzerland will be combined in the new Editorial Services division. Simon Bärtschi will assume leadership, previously a member of the Editorial Board of the Tages-Anzeiger and SonntagsZeitung. “The bundling of the teams in layout, text production, photography and proofreading into one division allows us to increase effectiveness and efficiency,” says Simon Bärtschi. “The new organisation will be an important partner of all online and print content for both the Tamedia Editorial Office and for newspaper editorial offices and 20 Minuten.”


The organisation of the layout, text production, image editing, photography and proofreading areas and other supported processes in French-speaking Switzerland is still to be finalised.


Each newspaper with its own Editorial Office and Editorial Boards


In addition to the use of common competence centres in the inter-regional area, the daily papers will remain independent with different profiles, individual positioning and independent political orientations. The Editors-in-Chief will decide together with the editorial offices of the titles on all channels regarding the front page, have editorial sovereignty and prepare all local, regional and other title-specific content from the existing locations. In German-speaking Switzerland, the Editorial Office of Der Bund will continue to be led by Patrick Feuz, Peter Jost will continue as Editor-in-Chief of BZ Berner Zeitung and Benjamin Geiger as Editor-in-Chief of Der Landbote, Die Zürichsee-Zeitung and Der Zürcher Unterländer. In French-speaking Switzerland, Pierre Ruetschi will continue to lead the Editorial Office of the Tribune de Genève.


Judith Wittwer new Editor-in-Chief of the Tages-Anzeiger


As of 1 January 2018, new designated editor-in-chief of the Tages-Anzeiger will be Judith Wittwer, already a member of the Tages-Anzeiger Editorial Board. “I’m looking forward to leading Switzerland’s largest subscribed daily paper into its jubilee year,” says Judith Wittwer, future Editor-in-Chief of the Tages-Anzeiger. “125 years of independent and committed journalism are compelling. Tradition and renewal are the basis for continuing to provide our readers a spiritual home and for leading our strong brand into a digital future.”


Judith Wittwer joined the Tages-Anzeiger in 2002, initially as a trainee, then as economics editor. Positions as Germany correspondent and in the Background and Analysis department followed, before moving in 2011 to Handelszeitung as Economics Editor. Judith Wittwer returned to the Tages-Anzeiger in 2014, where she then headed the staff of the Editorial Board and worked as head of the News department. Since 2015 she has been a member of the Editorial Board of the Tages-Anzeiger and SonntagsZeitung.


Claude Ansermoz to be new Editor-in-Chief of 24 heures


Claude Ansermoz is planned to become the Editor-in-Chief of 24 heures and thus to be the successor of Thierry Meyer, who as communicated previously is leaving the organisation. Claude Ansermoz has been working at 24 heures since 2003. When he started he led the Politics and Switzerland department, thereafter he was stationed in France as the correspondent for the Presidential elections in 2007; since 2008 he has been responsible for the Journal du Samedi of 24 heures. He has been Deputy Editor-in-Chief of 24 heures since 2011.


Taking advantage of digital growth opportunities


Tamedia wants to take advantage of digital growth opportunities in various ways. The number of digital subscribers is to be increased through better usability, automatic personalisation of news, new services such as the 12-App or Le Matin du Soir, improved visibility of the added values of paid services as well as targeted marketing and pricing initiatives. A growth strategy in the video division has already been approved. Tamedia will roll out an app across the company whereby videos can be created directly on smartphones and immediately published on the news platforms.


Tamedia also sees growth opportunities in the areas of hyperlocal and audio-compliant information. A pilot project in the area of hyperlocal information will start in 2018. From Sunday, 10 September 2017, SonntagsZeitung and Le Matin Dimanche will make an audio article available each day for eight weeks, which will also be published via the Podcast App in iTunes, Spotify and Deezer. Further voice and podcast services are to follow. In addition, Tamedia wants to expand its capacities in the area of data journalism. Investments have already been made in the last two years in training and education, software for editorial processing of large volumes of data and new data specialists.


20 Minuten incorporates sport and delivers Newsexpress


The Editorial Offices of 20 Minuten and Le Matin in French-speaking Switzerland will only work together with the Tamedia Editorial Office in two areas: the sports department of the new Tamedia Editorial Office will provide the content for all newspapers, including the 20 Minuten titles and Le Matin. 20 Minuten, 20 minutes and Le Matin, will be home to the newly established common Newsexpress service, established to provide all news portals with breaking news, brief agency reports, image galleries and live tickers.

Daily newspapers from Tamedia: more contacts with less advertising income


Tamedia publishes twelve paid daily and two Sunday newspapers in German- and French-speaking Switzerland. Nearly two million people in Switzerland use the paid printed or digital newspapers every day. While the number of readers of Tamedia’s daily printed or digital newspapers has increased, the newspapers have lost a quarter of their advertising income in the last four years. In the first half of this year, advertising sales of all printed daily newspapers in Switzerland again fell strongly by 12 percent.


“If there are further decreases in advertising income, only those daily papers which are part of a big network will survive,” says Christoph Tonini, Chief Executive Officer of Tamedia. “The bundling of resources – in contrast to spreading them over several small editorial offices – enables effective teams with more expertise in their department, more research capacity and the ability to develop new skills and services.”   


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